Welcome to 2016, I hope that your year thus far is as happy as it was when the clock struck 12 on January 1. After the indulgences of the holidays and maybe a respite from your fitness program you’re probably rip roaring to go and take off what you might have put on during the the festivities. Perhaps you did stay on track, didn’t pig out and stuck to your fitness program, if so good for you send some of that energy my way. I happen to be in the former group, having enjoyed plenty of food and wine between Thanksgiving and TODAY quite frankly I am now I’m ready to get it together. However, I know who I am and jumping right into the eat right thing isn’t happening so I’m getting started by getting ye olde body moving again. The thing is, it seems that this body requires quite a bit more assistance than it used to. So, ladies and gentleman, I’d like to introduce you to the Abominable Exercise Woman.
I was at the end of my rope by the time I said this. I was at Kaiser again, getting yet another injury diagnosis. This is how it all went down.
A few weeks before that visit, I put my right elbow down on the armrest of my chair at work and came right off of it with an OWWWW! I thought maybe I hit something funny but it wasn’t a funny bone type feeling it was more like a knife. From that day on I couldn’t put that elbow down on anything. The Good Doctor (me) self-diagnosed it as “I must lean on that elbow too much, it will stop.” Thing is it didn’t stop. The weekend before the trip to the doctor I was washing dishes and started getting this tingling feeling in my right forearm and was like what is this? It was tingling after the dishes were complete, it was tingling the next morning then all hell broke lose in the Walmart parking lot.
I’m slinging bags in the trunk, closed it and my purse slipped off my right shoulder, I hoisted it back up my jacked grazed my elbow and I screamed. This was no tingling this a feeling like hot knives being stabbed right in my elbow, just from my JACKET grazing it. I knew I was in trouble and went to the doctor.
Doctor: weren’t you just in here a month ago? Didn’t I tell you…
Me: yeah that’s (previous ailment) okay it’s this elbow (describes pain, doctor shakes head, does a few strength tests, gives proper side-eye and look of disapproval)
Doctor: you have tennis elbow
Me: what??? I don’t play tennis.
Doctor: it doesn’t come just from playing tennis
She went on to describe how repetitive motion, poor form or overuse can cause it. She said “you’re doing to much, you cannot do EVERYTHING at the same time, you have to split it up” along with more side-eye and “you and your activities”. My regiment at the time was doing total body strength training two days a week , yoga every day, body weight training once a week and cardio. All but the cardio involved lifting and pushing weights or buy weight basically every day. . So yeah I was the captain of team DOING TOO MUCH. As for the remainder of the exam…
Doctor: you need to take a month off you can’t do anything on your hands
Me: what????? Well can I do this? (demos chaturanga on the exam table)
Doctor: NOOOOOOO! You can do cardio, legs and abs and anything that doesn’t involve you lifting or pushing anything with your arms. I was like:
These last two weeks I have walked sparingly, drowned my sorrows in and watched my belly shoot out so far that I can no longer see my toes without bending over. Another ongoing health issue escalated that landed me at the doctor again last week and by that time it was all too much for my head to bear. Restarting my yoga practice, no hands style has helped my mental situation. I have done one down dog per day the last few days, but that’s it as far has any pressure on my hands. Needless to say, a lot’s been going on.
I made light of the tingling sensation but it was a signal that stuff was wrong. Maybe you have had a sensation, an ache or a pain that lingered a little too long and have tried to ignore it. Don’t. The faster you high-tail it to a medical professional, the faster you can rehab and get back to your fitness pursuits.
Until next time see you at the gym where I will not be tingling but will be…
Photos: MsThorns; Video: LL Cool J
- In the last year there’s been at least three times when physicians have said stop running , heal completely, then return at a slow pace. What I did? Stop running until I felt good and went right back to full steam ahead.
- There have been at least two physicians that have said lose 10 pounds. I would lose 5 get some good labs and start eating whatever I wanted to again accompanied by wine of course.
- Two times physicians have instructed me to perform stretching and strengthening exercises for the back, legs and feet. Again once the pain was gone I resumed my usual level of activity which involves pounding the treadmill and pavement and making the move from the Barbie weights to the big girl weights the prescribed exercises are filed away in a folder.
I can’t afford to be hard-headed anymore. I’m older, diabetic and in perimenopause. I have learned, the hard way I suppose that the body will always tell you when something is wrong. Even though society says push through it, grind it out or at this one gym I used to go to, “go ahead and throw up” this is something I can no longer do. Listen, comply and modify is my new mantra. It’s what I have to do to maintain a decent quality of life as I age. As of this writing I am forbidden to perform:
I know I’m not the only hard head out here. I’d love to hear your hard head stories, what made you stop being hard headed and the results of the change. If you care to share please do so in the comments, on Google+ or Twitter.
I last ran on March 17 and had pain in my right leg so bad I had to shut it down. As such I decided to start at the bottom to determine what is the source/contributing factor/problem that is keeping me off the trail and the treadmill. First stop, the podiatrist. I figured that I was finally paying the piper for 30 years of running with these flat feet of mine. The diagnosis was not at ALL what I expected but if you run, it is a sad sorry badge of honor/horror to earn. This is how it went down.
Me: Look, I have flat feet, pain in my hip, knee, back and sometimes leg. Are my flat feet the problem?
Him: Maybe. Do your feet ever hurt?
Me: Sometimes. They hurt when I’m not even on them. In fact I’ve wrapped my feet at night to ease the pain so I can sleep.
So the doctor starts poking around in the area of where my arch is supposed to be.
Him: Does that hurt?
Me: It wasn’t until you started poking around.
Then he dropped the P bomb on me.
“You’ve got plantar fasciiatis” I’m like WHAT????? I say to him, I thought that the pain from it was felt in the heel and he says “it is for the majority of people but a small percentage of people, particularly those with flat feet feel it pain in the arch”. There was some minor wailing and gnashing of teeth with that diagnosis and prescription — no running, inserts all day, foot and achilles stretching, NSAIDs and ice on the bottom of my feet. When he showed me those inserts I told him flat-out, “dude you are messing with my Diva, I have NO shoes other than gym shoes that those will fit.”
What is plantar fasciiatis?
Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.
Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis. (Mayo Clinic).
The paragraph above makes me a winner (read loser) in the fasciitis sweepstakes as I meet all of the criteria. I’ve had about a week to sulk and rebel and have settled into the realization that compliance is necessary in order to walk let alone run without pain after the fact. The stretching hasn’t been a problem, the inserts feel pretty good in gym shoes and I’ve decided to try the half-soles for dress shoes. However let me be really clear ice on the bottom of one’s feet is NOT the business, but I’m doing it.
So I ask you runners, sportsmen and gymrats out there, have you ever had plantar fasciitis? How did you treat it. and how long was your recovery. Let me know in the comments on Twitter or on Google+.
Until next time see you at the gym, I can still lift 🙂
At age 47 I learned how to swim.
Why didn’t I learn before? Didn’t feel the need. Though it was mandatory in high school non-swimmers only had to float and kick the width of the pool with held breath to pass. I passed and proceeded to spend the rest of my days sunbathing by the pool. Until now.
I was always scared of deep water and didn’t understand the whole breathing thing. I still don’t have it down and deep water isn’t my preferred hang out place but I hope it will be soon because I actually quite love the water. So the work continues.
You see you can teach an old broad new tricks. You too can try something new for your fitness program if you just let go of all the stuff, get clearance from your physician and jump in, the water is just fine even 12 feet of it. One guy made it fine for me, my instructor Michael Mooney at West Gwinnett Park and Aquatic Center. He is patient, pushy and funny all at the same time which made for an exceptional instructional experience. Thanks Michael.
Until next time, see you at the pool where you’ll see me continuing to practice this whole turn your body and breathe thing while singing “Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop”.
- steroid injections which failed at relieving the back pain but ended up improving my asthma symptoms
- chiropractic manipulation – which helped tremendously but required weekly visits that were not covered by insurance
- major weight loss – which eliminated the chronic pain
- oral steroids (which are making me bats#$% crazy)
- rest and, wait for it …
- losing 10 pounds as my current level of exertion may be too much at my current weight
Thus far I’ve taken the pills and stayed out of the gym, practiced yoga (the only exercise permissible) and have been contemplating how to address my diet in order to lose some more weight. I’m not pleased but will do it, and will seek a nutritionist since I’m diabetic and exercise five days a week. In other words, I am actually complying with doctor’s orders 🙂
I hope that none of you are dealing with any injuries during this festive season. If you are, I hope you’re on the mend, complying with the prescribed treatment(s) and enjoying your family and friends. On the bright side, if you’re sidelined from the gym/road/court etc, that gives you more time to spend with the folks you love.
Until next time see you somewhere, anywhere other than the doctor’s office 😉
How it all goes down
- Do not participate in X activity for # amount of time
- Follow X treatment plan for # amount of time
- After treatment is complete you may return to activity but do so gradually and build up.
- At the first sign of pain stop.
What have I learned?
What about you? Does your mind over power your body and make you exercise when it’s probably best for you to refrain? If so were you able to break out of that pattern of behavior? What did you do. Let me know in the comments and until next time,